Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Imperium Issues
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)
Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.
Well we’re getting close to the end-of-year break here at the Brutally Honest Command Center. I’ve been doing these breaks for almost as long as I’ve been doing online columns, which is ten years now. I usually take about a month off from both the weekly column and the weekly audio rants or broadcasts so I can enjoy the holidays and get things geared up for next year.
The one thing that I do keep going during the holiday break is the weblog page, because I know that there are things that go on that happen during the break, and some of them just can’t wait until I get the column restarted in January. So by all means, if you haven’t done so, please keep checking in with the Brutally Honest weblog at d-2-brutally-honest-dot-blogspot-dot-com. For those of you know how to do it, there’s an RSS feed or "live bookmark" that you can set up so you’ll know that if there’s something new going on you’ll be the first to know about it.
But we aren’t at the break yet… so before that happens, I thought that I’d take some time to answer a few questions pertaining to my stances on the Bush Junior White House… otherwise known as the dreaded Bush Imperium!
Now for those of you who are new to the world of Brutally Honest, you need to understand that I’ve only been referring to the White House as under George W. Bush as the Bush Imperium for less than two years now. Before that I was calling it the Bush Administration… or the Bush Junior White House. I’m obviously not a supporter of "Da Big W"… never have been. I’m a libertarian through and through. I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t WANT him to be elected… but then again I also didn’t want his Democrat alternative to win. But I made the conscious effort back in 2001 to give Bush the benefit of the doubt. I gave him the opportunity to BE an effective president… to BE the kind of leader that we expect. And if he DID do those things and he and his people lived up to those basic expectations, then I wouldn’t have come up with the moniker to begin with.
So here’s a good question that I’m sure some of you are wondering about…
Now that the Democrats have taken over the Congress, does that end all of this talk about the Bush Imperium?
No. It doesn’t end it, because the forces behind it are still present.
Let’s get brutally honest here… there’s more to the whole talk about the "Bush Imperium" than just throwing names about. There’s an attitude behind it as well, and that attitude comes from those in the White House in how they carry themselves and how others see them.
In over the five years that the Bush Junior people have controlled the White House, they have developed this attitude that they can do whatever the hell they want to. Whatever they want, they’ll get it. They can re-write the laws that Congress passes. They can ignore any laws made to limit the scope of their powers, even the restrictions set down in the US Constitution, which are supposed to BE the law of the land. You would think that "law and order" people would RESPECT such limitations, but they don’t. Instead, they consider these to be minor details that can be avoided, ignored, or outright VIOLATED just by uttering a certain mantra. And you know which mantra I’m talking about, don’t you?
If it looks like the Bush Imperium has been doing a half-assed job in Iraq, it’s partly because we all got goaded into it before we were finished with Afghanistan! Oh yeah, we still have troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for Osama, but so far we’ve had better luck finding what few weapons of mass destruction still exist in Iraq than we are in finding the leader behind that unnamed aforementioned mantra. And then on top of that, we have a president that demagogued last year’s gas crisis to push for an energy bill that was a complete and unmitigated JOKE. Then he decided that it was more important to take guitar lessons from Esteban and then fly off to a GOP fundraiser in San Diego than to deal with a Category 5 hurricane that was about to hit New Orleans and the hub of America’s oil supply for the East Coast. That’s not leadership. That’s negligence.
So yeah, the Bush Junior White House EARNED the title "Bush Imperium". But you know what? They weren’t the only ones who earned such a moniker.
Ten years ago I was railing on against the White House, only back then it was under the firm control of a Democrat… and her husband. Just kidding. Seriously, though, back then I refused to call the White House under President Bill Clinton as an "Administration" either. I called it the "Clinton Regime" because they ACTED more like a regime than a legitimate government. They were more interested in covering their asses than in doing their jobs! And they were pretty good at doing that. They managed to get away with a LOT of stuff because they knew how to manipulate the system. The only thing they weren’t able to get away with was something really petty and stupid… a blowjob. And that was Bill Clinton’s own damn fault.
And bear in mind that the Clinton Regime had to deal with SIX of its eight years under Republican control of the Congress, and yet they still managed to carry themselves around like pompous asses. The Bush Imperium, on the other hand, only has to deal with TWO years under Congressional Democratic control. So if you think that I’m being TOO HARD on Junior, then you need to go over both history AND my track record. I may call Junior a dufus, but at least I’m not calling him a slimy smooth-talking narcissistic despot.
So when WILL the imperial references end? When WILL I be willing to call the Bush Junior White House the "Bush Administration" again?
Well that’s entirely up to the folks in the White House. There are a whole lot of "ifs" involved:
… if they want to demonstrate that they can go through the last two years without acting like a bunch of Romans drunk on power…
… if they can demonstrate that they know that catering to Christian theocrats is just as bad as catering to Islamic theocrats, and that the only difference between the two theocrats are a bomb and a gun…
… if they can recognize and respect the rule of law instead of trying to subvert it with executive orders and signing statements…
… if they can abandon their use of fear-mongering for political gain…
… if they can actually SELL the rest of the world on what freedom is instead of just throwing the word about and saying that it will magically appear through democracy…
… if they can remember that there is a difference between criticism and treason, and that this difference is spelled out in plain English in a document that they took an OATH to protect, preserve, and defend…
… if they can remember that the devastation caused by a hurricane – even a Category 3 storm - is FAR MORE IMPORTANT that some stupid political fundraiser on the other side of the country…
… if they can remember that they serve the American people and not a bunch of foreign oil barons…
… if they can accept the fact that the only reason why the leaders of Iran and Venezuela can act like complete dickheads and get away with it is because we’re still having to buy their oil, and that the only way to shut them up and put them in their place is for us to be able to go through our normal day WITHOUT their oil…
… if they can understand that if they want our continued support in Iraq that we need to know what "victory" REALLY means and what it will take for our soldiers to come home, and that saying "trust me" is NOT an acceptable substitution…
… and lastly… if they can actually behave like the LEADERS they claim to be…
… if they can do all that, then MAYBE they would be worthy of being referring to as an "administration" again.
Sadly, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Junior still has his inner circle – minus Rumsfield of course – and they seem to think that the only reason why the Republicans lost power is because they weren’t CONSERVATIVE enough. That’s not good for them, or for us. Right now we can only HOPE that they will be willing to work with the new Democrat leaders in January and not try to subvert them at every opportunity.
It is one thing to lead… it’s another thing entirely to lead and actually have others willing to FOLLOW. A good leader knows the difference.
(Computer – a few timely things that you’ll have to listen to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)
There is a fine line between leadership and tyranny… but it is a line nonetheless. And the more power you have over others, the harder it is to see that line, and the easier it is to cross it.
Maybe that explains why every second presidential term since World War II has always ended worse than their first term. Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and now Bush Junior have all started their terms with idealism and hope, and have ended – or in Junior’s case NOW ending – covering their asses and having to explain themselves for their earlier decisions.
It sometimes makes me wonder if we either should just get rid of the term limits or just go ahead and limit the job of President to just one five-year term and then that’s it. I’m starting to lean towards the single-term option. At least then the White House wouldn’t obsessed with so-called "legacies" and actually be committed to doing their jobs.
Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")
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